Sci-tech

Honda Details 50 MPG 2019 Insight Hybrid

Honda Details 50 MPG 2019 Insight Hybrid

When it finally launches in production flavor towards the end of 2018, Honda's 2019 Insight will slot above the compact Civic.

Roomy and with the latest technology onboard, the 2019 Honda Insight aims to offer a premium compact experience above the best-selling Civic. Honda says the Insight will feature a long wheelbase to offer class-leading passenger space, so there should be plenty of room to bring friends and family along for the ride. Honda has not yet announced how fuel-efficient the next Insight will be, but Arcangeli described the vehicle as having "best-in-class performance" in this regard. The second-gen Insight that debuted in 2009 was a five-passenger hatchback with a raised, elongated tail that made it hard to distinguish from the Toyota Prius. That battery, by the way, will be located under the rear seats and won't rob the Insight of the ability to fold the rear seatbacks for longer cargo. Honda has received a fair bit of flak for its infotainment system lately, but it promises more intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality this round, including customisable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with available Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and WiFi-enabled over-the-air system updates. Those include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure alert, and a new traffic-sign recognition feature that's been used on European cars for several years but is just making its way into mass-priced US vehicles.

Over on the safety tech and driver-assistance side, there'll be Honda LaneWatch on EX and above trims, along with the Honda Sensing safety suite.

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The parts coming from outside the US likely include the hybrid powertrain, which is similar to that used in the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, which went on sale in December. Therefore, if Honda fully implements this drivetrain in the new Civic-based Insight, which is likely 700-800 lbs. lighter, performance should be robust.

The new Insight will feature a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. No word yet on whether there will be a plug-in version.

The third-generation Insight was conceived as part of the Honda Electrification Initiative, its worldwide commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and offer electrified vehicles in two-thirds of its offerings by 2030.

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The Honda Insight is back for a third generation, after being on hiatus since 2014.

Rolling off the same IN production lines as the Civic, its maker was careful to say that it used parts sourced "both domestically and globally".

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